The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases continues to rise before the next wave of the virus predicted to come in the fall, and a new mental health crisis is looming on the horizon.
The first wave of the coronavirus pandemic affected physical health. That wave was followed by the downturn in the economy, and the next crisis will be centered around mental health as some areas are forced back into quarantine.
Evidence suggests that isolation drives trauma. A 2013 study by the National Institute of Health focusing on health-related disasters found that isolation or quarantine can be traumatizing, with 25 percent of people experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder.
Disasters can also lead to long-term mental health challenges. After Hurricane Katrina, people experienced emotional and behavioral difficulties as well as PTSD symptoms.
The outbreak of COVID-19 has infected more than 2 million people across the United States and 7 million around the world. In a short time, governments across the globe decided to place entire cities and nations under quarantine because earlier, milder measures failed to control the COVID-19 spread. However, studies have shown that quarantine has wide-ranging, substantial, and potentially long lasting negative psychological effects on the general population, especially when it lasts more than 10 days. Such effects can be even more pervasive and serious in people with mental disorders. Being quarantined involves losing daily routines and social connections which can help make life meaningful and provide emotional support—it comes with significant costs for people living with mental illnesses. Many patients cannot regularly attend outpatient visits for their treatment, causing progress and outcomes to suffer when patients are unable to interact with their mental health professionals.
But the effects can also stretch to the general population. According to a March 2020 survey by the University of Oregon, 68 percent of parents and caregivers reported an increase in stress, and 33 percent reported an increase in their child’s disruptive behavior. In a Yale survey conducted this past April, 5,000 teachers were asked to describe their emotions. The top five responses included: anxious, fearful, worried, overwhelmed and sad.
While practicing social distancing and undergoing a quarantine have been proven to mitigate the effects of COVID-19, we still must keep in mind the effect it can have on the general population and especially those living with mental health conditions.
Utilizing enhanced care techniques such as home visits with social distancing measures and/or telehealth consultations with experienced mental health professionals are important in the short-term, yet patients need to have a long-lasting solution for their overall mental health.
Ketamine infusion therapy has been proven to redevelop the neural pathways in your brain that have been damaged by debilitating mental health or chronic pain conditions. By increasing neurotransmitters like glutamate that help to build new pathways in the brain, ketamine therapy can improve function in areas of mood, sleep, and more.
Ketamine is different from other medications in that it triggers reactions in the cortex that enables brain connections to regrow. This allows for long-term effects that last even when the ketamine is no longer in your system.
Ketamine is a fast-acting therapy for those with treatment-resistant unipolar and bipolar depression, anxiety, OCD, PTSD, and suicidal drive.
Take an online assessment to determine if ketamine is right for you.